Monday, May 28, 2012

Blue Circle Skirt

Finally, here is the Teagan-sized version of Maddie's skirt. (How's that for posting? Four posts in two days. I've been holding out on you guys. Don't get used to it. Feast or famine 'round these parts.)

It's still a circle skirt gathered with a casing and ribbon down one side to reveal a ruffled underskirt, but this time I'll give you a few links to some tutorials for similar skirts so you can make one of your own.

For the outer circle skirt, here is Dana's famous circle skirt tutorial.
For the inner ruffled skirt, guess what, Dana's got one of those too!
For the gathered casing, Jess is all over that one.

Put those tutorials all together joined at the waistband and you'll have one of these:

Or here's an idea: You could leave the skirts separate and just switch top or bottom layers with ones made in different colors or patterns to maximize your little one's wardrobe. So many different combos! Then you always have the option to wear them separately too.

That's enough to put a smile on any girl's face.

Minnie Skirt

I was about to post pictures of a Teagan-sized version of this skirt and realized I had never posted about this one.

This is my adorable niece, Madison, and this is a belated posting of her belated birthday present.

I'm never quite sure what to say when I post. I guess I get typing's like getting tongue tied but digitally. Get it? Digitally? Like finger-digits and digitally in the electronic sense. Ha! I just made that one up! I should post late at night more often. My dad would be so proud.

Um, anyway..this is a circle skirt gathered with a casing and ribbon down one side to reveal a ruffled underskirt.  I guess the picture tells you that already.  I should just let them speak. Their jokes are funnier anyway.

Update: I've added a list of helpful tutorials on this post so you can make one of these skirts too.

Once Upon a Thread

My mother's copy of Counting Rhymes illustrated by Sharon Kane is on long term loan at my house. (You haven't missed it have you Mom?)

It has these adorable illustrations of toddlers and babies that I just can't get enough of. Cute kids in cute clothes? I just can't help myself.

I particularly fell in love with this outfit and had to make one for Teagan.

The skirt is basically a circle skirt but with a much larger waist circumference so it could be gathered in for extra twirly-skirt-ness.  I just added a couple of rows of brown ric rac around the edge. (If you are curious, the fabric is from JoAnn's.)

I made Teagan's sweater by cutting apart a thrifted woman's sweater, refashioning it to a child's size, adding a lace Peter pan collar, lace around the sleeve edges, and vintage buttons down the back. I love those buttons! I think they are what drew me to the illustration originally.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Vintage Sewing

Last summer my Mother-in-Law introduced me to Alma Jane's, a gem of a vintage store in La Grande, Oregon. The owner created the store in the memory of her mother, Alma Jane. If you ever drive through Eastern Oregon, I definitely recommend making a stop there. Great finds and very reasonable prices.

My favorite part: a whole room of vintage sewing supplies and patterns where we discovered this diamond of a pattern from 1958:

(My copy was owned by a woman named Rita who signed her name on the envelope. 
Too perfect for a vintage pattern right!?)

With that darted bodice (for a toddler!) and full tiered skirt, I just couldn't say no. It was so much fun to make!

This dress was just asking for a voluminous petti-skirt to complete the look.

I loved taking Teagan to church in this. Not only was it fun to walk behind Teagan as the dress swished around her. I also loved all the attention she got from the grandmas who apparently all had dresses like this one as children. Too cute!

My only regret is that I wish I had made it out of the same blue polka dotted fabric as this skirt. Or even a pink polka dot like the pattern cover. While I like the floral I picked, the darts and lace on the tiers get lost in the pattern. I guess I just may have to make another one.

In other news, Teagan has recently begun to enjoy creating her own poses. Apparently being a top model requires that you creatively contort your body. She did this pose after every step as she hopped from stone to stone.

Friday, May 4, 2012

International Star Wars Day

May the Fourth... with you.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

June Bug Dress

I started this little dress during Project Run and Play's June Bug Dress refashion challenge last season.  I don't know what I was thinking when I thought I could participate in a sew-along before Penny was sleeping through the night. I guess all that sleep deprivation affected my judgement.

Funny, it's a very easy to follow tutorial (two big thumbs up!), but when you are sewing in fifteen to twenty minute increments here and there, it takes a while. Where did I end last time? Where do I start this time? Thanks to the Kids Clothes Week Challenge (KCWC), a loving husband, and a baby that sleeps like a pro, I finally finished it up. (I make it sound like I've been slaving away on it all week. After all those little increments it just needed hemming...but it took the KCWC to motivate me. Silly.)

It was a difficult challenge to try and remix this pattern. The design was fabulous to begin with, so I didn't really change it much. It was just too cute. I just lengthened it to a maxi, left the elastic out of the sleeves so they would flare a little, and added a collar, buttons, and a sash.

It's a little big on Teagan right now. I think the pattern Jessica posted may be more of a 3T/4T than the 2T/3T it is listed as, but hey, no big deal. I'd rather have it run large than small, and it will work just as well next fall. I'm just glad she posted a pattern in a size remotely close to Teagan's. (She shows you how to make your own pattern in any size, but it was nice to be able to bypass that step.)

Here's to more summer sewing!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Catching Up

I got a few shots of Teagan in her Tinker Bell Halloween February, and now I'm posting March. Right on track. Ha! Seems like I'm always playing "catch up" these days.

Having a new baby in the house gives me a free pass, right?

For this one I used Simplicity pattern 4949, but I would not recommend it unless your child is shaped like Winnie the Pooh, or you like a LOT of ease in your children's clothing.  The bodice was much too short and stout for my tastes and the neckline was much too low.  I figured that last one out too late and ended up adding a wide floral trim (made by Simplicity) for a little coverage. (A happy accident. I liked the look of the trim.)

Come to think of it, the skirt was too short too. I mean, I'm okay with a toddler's fairy skirt being on the scant side particularly when it's pretty much a tutu, but even after lengthening the bodice, I still had to add an extra, longer layer on the bottom just to cover, well, her bottom.

Teagan still gets a lot of use out of this costume even though she's starting to outgrow it. It is absolutely essential when she's pretending to be a Fairy Jedi Storm Trooper:

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Penny's Blessing Dress

I seriously thought I was going to have a boy. When the ultrasound technician announced "girl," I had to ask her if she was sure.  She was. I was blindsided. Wow. A girl.

Not that I wasn't thrilled. I was. I was just completely caught off guard, and it took me a while to process it all. All I could think about was that I was going to have/get to design another blessing dress. Funny, the things your mind gets stuck on.


Fast forward a few months: the baby's here, the dress is done, and the baby's been blessed.

Designing this dress was a battle for me. I guess it took me a while to get back on track after designing for a little boy in my mind for months. 

I wanted Penny to have a dress as special as Teagan's but still be distinctly Penny's. I kept going back to the things I loved about Teagan's: a dress and an overcoat, playing with texture to add drama to a completely white dress, sophisticated details.

Details like the pleats and bow on the back inspired by this coat:

(Original Source) (Pinterest)

Details like the split cuff on the coat sleeves inspired by this "No Big Dill" dress.

Details like the petal sleeves on the dress that allowed for movement while still maintaining fit inspired by my sister-in-law's wedding dress. (She, her mom, and aunts designed and made her dress. Awesome, huh?)

I knew the sleeves wouldn't show, but I wanted/needed that detail to be there especially if I didn't get the coat done in time!

Thanks to my husband and in-laws, the dress and coat were done on time. It was a race to the finish line though.

Parts of this dress turned out just how I imagined. Other parts, not so much, but that's the way it always goes. In the end, I'm pleased.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Penelope Olivia

I've been away kissing this little face:

Penelope Olivia
12 Dec. 2011
7lbs. 3 oz.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

iPad Case for Dado

Why is it that men are so hard to craft/sew for? Other than the occasional mending job and the annual Halloween costume, Will gets nothing from all my crafty endeavors...except a hefty bill. Sorry Honey. Recently, however, I ran across a great tutorial for something I knew Will could use. An iPad case:

The tutorial I used was actually for a laptop sleeve, but it could be easily adapted for any electronic device. If you are looking for a handmade gift for the man in your life, I highly recommend making one of these.

As far as changes to the original tutorial go, I used fleece instead of felt and did NOT adhere it using spray adhesive. Since it is in one piece you can just sew it right in.  I also added a lip and decorative straps as well as some velcro for security. I knew I'd be likely to pick it up without thinking and watch in horror as the iPad slid right out. This commercial just makes me cringe.

If you are curious about the dimensions, these fit both the iPad One and Two:
  • Main body piece cut from vinyl and fleece - 11" by 18.5"
  • Straps - 1" by 8"
  • Circles - traced around a milk jug lid!
Helpful Construction Hints:
  1. After cutting out the Main Body Pieces, place the fleece on top of the vinyl. Next, fold the bottom up to 2.5" below the top of the rectangle. (The 2.5" forms the lip.) You will notice when you do this that the inside fleece will squeeze out past the vinyl a quarter of an inch or so as it becomes sandwiched inside the vinyl. No big deal, just trim it down again.
  2. Then, stitch the sides together 1/4" from the edge. A Teflon sewing foot will help or you can try using masking tape as Sweet Verbena did in her tutorial. (I used the tape method, and she's right, masking tape glides smoother. Painter's tape is also nice because it has less tack, but you can make regular tape less tacky by sticking it first to your shirt and then to the vinyl. I learned that "less tack is more" lesson the hard way and lost a bit of the top layer of my cheap costume pleather when I took the tape off.)
  3. Fold the top lip down, trim the fleece, and trace around a circular object to create rounded corners, if desired.
  4. Do decorative stitching around the edges. If you have trouble pulling your needle through, cut a small piece of vinyl and fold it around your needle to act as a gripper. (BTW, I used cording instead of embroidery floss. It's right next to the floss in the embroidery section of your craft store.)
  5. Add straps, if desired.
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